Feeds

US DoJ offers to jail copyright infringers

Attorney General floats tough new law

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has proposed tough new copyright enforcement laws that would criminalise consumers simply for trying to make unauthorised copies of music, movies and software, whether they are successful or not.

Dubbed the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2005 (IPPA), the bill, which has yet to be put before the US Congess, seeks to provide harsher penalties for copyright infringers, in particular those who do so persistently.

For tougher sentences, think not only bigger fines, but also jail terms, the seizure of equipment used to make illegal copies and the payment of compensation to the owner of the copied work, Gonzales indicated.

"Rapid technological advancements have made the reproduction and distribution of counterfeit goods and pirated materials easier than ever in our history,” Gonzales said yesterday night, the Red Herring reports. “[We] must advance along with modern technologies if we’re going to keep pace with this evolving area of criminal activity.”

Gonzales was speaking at Stopping the Fakes, a US Chamber of Commerce-sponsored conference focused on exploring measures to combat counterfeiting.

The IPPA doesn't appear to seek to change the fundamentals of US copyright law, which govern who owns a work and the extent to which others may make copies of it without seeking the permission of the copyright holder, but to allow law enforcement agencies greater leeway to pursue those suspected of infringing copyright and to come down harder on those found to have engaged in such actions.

Gonzales' IPPA proposal comes after the US Supreme Court ruled that anyone seen to be knowingly aiding and abetting copyright infringement can be sued by copyright holders. That judgement led to renewed efforts by the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) to force P2P companies to block copyright infringement and to obtain licences to allow copyright works to be shared. A number of them have since complied, or closed their networks down while they get legal. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.